Colorado Festivals to Enjoy This Summer
We’re on the way to summer, and with that comes some of the best Colorado festivals. Whether you’re looking for food, wine, or music and entertainment, there’s probably at least one of these events you should head to this summer, and in some cases this fall.
You’ve heard of Mike the headless chicken, right? Celebrate Mike in Fruita during the Mike the Headless Chicken Festival on June 2 and 3. Food and craft vendors, chicken dances, chicken recipe contests, eating contests, the Run Like a Headless Chicken 5k, and more to celebrate Mike. If you’ve never read the story, you can find it at History | City of Fruita Colorado.
North Fork Uncorked, June 9 through the 11, offers barrel tastings from the West Elk Wineries of Paonia and Hotchkiss. Wines, ciders, music, and more are part of this weekend's event in the North Fork Valley.
Music lovers will gather at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival beginning June 15. Robert Plant and Alison Krauss are part of the lineup this year, but according to the Festival website, the event is sold out.
Glenwood Springs is home to the Annual Strawberry Days Festival. This year’s event takes place from June 16 through 18. Live music, family activities, arts and crafts, food, and a parade are part of this free community event. According to the website, serving free strawberries and ice cream is one of the traditions of this event.
The Telluride Wine Festival is set for June 22 through the 25. At this event, you can attend seminars led by celebrity chefs, plus they plan to have concerts, meals, cooking demonstrations, and more.
Keystone is home to the Bacon & Bourbon Festival on June 24 and June 25. It will be a weekend celebration that includes pounds upon pounds of bacon. Who doesn’t love bacon?
Just in time for the 4 of July weekend, head up to Paonia for their annual Cherry Days Celebration, July 3, and 4. Enjoy their 4 of July parade, take part in the 5k run, and try the pit-spitting contest too.
In what’s known as the wildflower capital of Colorado, you can be part of the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival from July 7 through July 16. Enjoy photography sessions, gardening seminars, wildflower hikes, and more. Follow that up with The Crested Butte Wine and Food Festival. It’s a fundraiser for the Crested Butte Center for the Arts, which has provided the area with arts and experiences for 35 years. The festival is slated for July 19 through the 23 this year. You can partake in seminars, winemaker dinners, and tasting events.
The oldest running rodeo in Colorado is Cattlemen’s Days in Gunnison, July 13 through 15. Events include a parade, livestock show, a carnival, and the Tough Enough to Wear Pink PRCA Rodeo which is a fundraiser for breast cancer awareness.
We’ve had, in past years, a hot air balloon festival in Montrose. You can see a mass ascension of hot-air balloons this year in Craig, at the Moffat County Balloon Festival taking place from August 4 through August 6. Saturday’s activities include a full day of entertainment and more.
Downtown Olathe will, again this year, be home to the annual Olathe Sweet Corn Festival. Activities begin at 10 am on August 5. Along with all of the Olathe Sweet Sweet Corn you can eat, there will be a parade, contests, a car show, and music by local favorite Neon Sky, plus country artist Collin Raye.
Palisade Peaches can be purchased all over. Why not pack in some peach-loving fun at the Palisade Peach Festival on August 18 and 19? Local restaurants include peaches in a variety of their offerings, plus you can tour orchards and try your hand at a peach-eating contest too.
Rocky Ford is known for their melons, and what better way to celebrate Watermelon Day, August 19, in Rocky Ford? Watermelon carving, watermelon seed-spitting, and a couple of fun runs are all part of the day’s activities. You can also take home a free watermelon or two.
The Tour de Vineyards will allow you to take a bike ride through Palisade’s vineyards and follow up with a finish-line meal before attending the Colorado Mountain Winefest on September 16. At the Winefest, you can sample wines, tour a winery and attend winemaker dinners. You might even be allowed to stomp on a grape or two. Though that’s really in the fall, it would be something to bike ride on a 23-mile or 58-mile route through Colorado’s wine country of Palisade.
The third weekend of September, you can enjoy live music, wine tasting, and beer from San Luis Brewing, during the Lake City Uncorked Wine & Music Festival. Proceeds from the event benefit the town of Lake City, and each year you can get a new custom wine glass.
I’ve not heard of this festival until now, but I might have to make plans to go to the Pueblo Chile and Frijoles Festival, September 22-24. Imagine green chile on a stick, or in a quesadilla. The event also has cooking competitions, arts and crafts, dancing, and live music.
Though I can’t find a date for it yet, the Greeley Potato Days celebration evidently takes place sometime in September. You can buy baked potatoes with your choice of toppings and get root beer floats too. Sign me up.
As long as we’ve already talked about fall, I have to mention Applefest in Cedaredge. This year’s events will be October 6 through October 8. Live music, apples galore, ciders, and a huge variety of vendors. We enjoyed it last year, and plan on going again this October.
Plus, don’t forget about all the local fairs and rodeos, farmer’s markets, music festivals, and shows that happen all over Colorado during the summer. Hopefully, we’ll see you at an event or two.